Newspapers are valuable daily, and weekly, sources of information with which to practise your memory techniques. The challenge comes from the sheer miscellany of the material on offer – on one page, the details of a complex fraud case, on another proposals for a new record-breaking suspension bridge, and elsewhere an account of a territorial dispute between two foreign powers.

Newspapers, by their nature, trace the unfolding of events issue by issue – though not necessarily with great consistency. Stories can dominate the headlines for a week or so, then disappear, only to resurface with new developments at a later date, by which time we may have forgotten the finer points of the original story.

remember news

The exercise opposite gives you practice in following and recalling news stories using in particular the Journey Method and Link Method. A typical news story involves dates, names (especially of foreign leaders), political parties, foreign alliances, statistics, and so on. This presents you with the challenge of selecting from your mnemonic repertoire the techniques that will be most appropriate for helping you to remember these different types of data. Absorbing these basic facts will enrich your understanding of the broader context of the story.

You might also consider using the financial pages of newspapers to test your ability to remember random digits. Or if you are a sports fan, you could perhaps try memorizing sporting league tables.

Exercise: The Great Paper Trail

This method will help you to retain the salient points of a number of news stories, as and when they are reported in your newspaper.

1. Try following, say, three separate and dissimilar stories for at least a month, or for as long as the stories run. Allocate a relevant journey to each story: for example, you might set an ecological story in your local park. Try to choose journeys to which you can add extra stages when needed. For example, perhaps the last stage of your journey to work can join up with the first stage of your journey to the gym.

2. As you read an article, sift the incidental from the essential. Focus on the issues, facts and events that you judge to be at the heart of the article.

3. Memorize the data using specific techniques: for example, Names and Faces for people, the Dominic System for statistics and numbers, the Complex Dominic System for dates, Countries and Capitals for place names, Remember Quotations and so on. Combine this data into a single complex scene for example, a politician, at a certain time and place, giving a speech. Then place this image at a single stage of your journey.

4. Each time you read another article on your subject, first review your journey so far to check you can still remember the data you committed to memory last time. Once the news story has run its course, use the “rule of five”  to revise and fix the information for the long term.

Now whether you are a sports fan or you like to remember general news, you have got the memory techniques that will get you there.